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India to launch first commercial satellite

The PSLV and GSLV rockets would be launched from the first and second launch pads at Sriharikota respectively.

india Updated: Jan 03, 2006 12:13 IST

India would take Italian satellite "Agile" to outer space aboard PSLV C-8 in April-May in the country's first fully commercial satellite launch, ISRO chairman G Madhavan Nair said on Monday.

"We are also planning for the GSLV launch in April, which will carry Insat 4-C for augmenting DTH technology in the country," Nair told reporters on the sidelines of the national workshop on "Space Applications for Mankind", organised by the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre in Thiruvananthapuram.

The PSLV and GSLV rockets would be launched from the first and second launch pads at Sriharikota respectively.

He said India's launch vehicles were cost-effective. "It will be a great opportunity for us if we can capture at least 10 per cent in the launch business worth $2 billion in the international market," he said.

India had successfully tested an "air-breathing" engine in Russia for 10 seconds at ground level. The test was a good beginning and the engine's sounding module could be tested in two to three years, he said.

The cost of launch vehicles would come down with the technology, as it uses atmospheric air for combustion. Rockets now carry fuel and oxidisers, whereas for air-breathing engines using hypersonic technology, lesser quantity of oxidisers is required.

By the time GSLV Mk-3, which could carry a 4-tonne payload, was launched in 2008, the cost of access to space could be reduced to $10,000 per kg of payload. Launch technology would be commercially feasible if the cost was reduced to $1000 per kg of payload, he said.

First Published: Jan 03, 2006 10:01 IST